out of Five
Running time: 111
Enjoyable road-trip comedy with likeable characters, strong comic performances and a decent number of laughs, though the tone is uneven in places, particularly when leering over its female lead.
What's it all about?
Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber (Dodgeball), We're The Millers stars Jason Sudeikis as pot-dealing slacker David Clark, who gets into heavy debt with his drug dealer boss Brad (Ed Helms) and agrees to transport a large amount of marijuana across the US border from Mexico. In order to do so, he recruits down-on-her-luck stripper Rose (Jennifer Aniston), homeless girl Casey (Emma Roberts) and abandoned teenager Kenny (Will Poulter) to pose as his fake family (the titular
Millers) so that the border patrol will wave them through without any trouble.
However, things don't go quite according to plan: the shipment turns out to be more than the ‘smidge’ promised by Brad and the Millers soon find themselves pursued by a Mexican drug dealer (Tomer Sisley) and his one-eyed henchman (Matthew Willig). And things get more complicated when they meet well-meaning family the Fitzgeralds on the road (Nick Offerman, Kathryn Hahn and Molly Quinn) and Don Fitzgerald turns out to be a DEA officer.
Sudeikis has been a likeable comic supporting presence for a while now, so it's nice to see him handed a lead role for once and he generates decent chemistry with each of his co-stars, particularly Britain's own Will Poulter, who both nails the American accent and displays a hitherto unsuspected gift for comedy (his singalong rendition of TLC's Waterfalls is worth the price of admission alone). Similarly, Aniston gives a remarkably game performance (though she never looks like she's actually enjoying herself), handing the film its completely superfluous stripping set-piece (a misfire on every level), while there's strong support from reliable comic performers Helms, Offerman and Hahn.
The script delivers a decent mix of funny dialogue and amusing sight gags, though the film's biggest laugh comes from the final out-take in a series of scenes that occur during the closing credits so if you watch the film, make sure you stay for that scene.
It's fair to say that not all of the jokes work and some fall painfully flat; this is partly due to a weirdly uneven tone, as if the film can't make up its mind whether it wants to be an essentially sweet-natured road movie or a raucous gross-out comedy. Either way, its leering treatment of Aniston is extremely dubious, particularly when Sudeikis breaks the fourth wall to effectively wink at the audience while she's doing her striptease routine.
We're The Millers delivers its fair share of laughs thanks to a likeable comic cast but it suffers from an uneven tone. Worth seeing, nonetheless, though you might want to avoid the trailer as it gives away far too many of the jokes.